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End of Year 2016: Global Report on Religion


Religion prevails in the world

  • 62% of people in the world define themselves as religious; the figure in Pakistan is 93%.
  • 74% of people globally believe we have a soul and 71% believe in God; while 56% believe in heaven, 54% in life after death and 49% in hell. In Pakistan, 98% believe in God; while 97% each believe in life after death; believe we have a soul and believe in heaven and hell.
  • There is a connection between religiosity, beliefs and socio-demographic characteristics – such as age, income and education level. In general, as education and income levels grow higher, religiosity levels tend to diminish. On the other hand, the expression of different beliefs is higher among young people.
  • The most religious countries are Thailand (98%) and Nigeria (97%), followed by Kosovo, India, Ghana, Papua New Guinea and Ivory Coast (all of them with 94%). China is the least religious country, where almost 7 out of 10 people are atheists, more than double than any other country, and 23% consider themselves non-religious people.
  • As for the different beliefs that were analyzed: God, soul, life after death, hell and heaven; the most believing countries are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ghana, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea.